Oh, hey, another Halo: Reach map pack is on the way! This morning, publisher Microsoft announced the “Defiant Map Pack” for a March release. It'll be an 800 Microsoft Point download that’ll add a total of three maps and another 150 achievement points to the core game.
Interestingly, it appears as if Halo: Reach's online component will continue to grow without the skilled hands of Bungie doing the work. The press release announcing this content doesn't mention Bungie at all, at least. Instead, the creation of the DLC is attributed to the dudes over at Certain Affinity, a Texas-based developer that specializes in supporting competitive shooters. Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: World at War are the last two games the studio lists under its credits, but it has also spent some with the Halo series before, having done some work on Halo Waypoint and a few maps for Halo 2’s “Blastacular Map Pack.” The company was even founded by longtime Bungie alum Max Hoberman. They've got the chops, in other words.
Here’s a rundown of the three new maps with images, the latter of which is via Major Nelson:
== TEASER ==CONDEMNED
"Condemned takes place aboard Orbital Station Gamma, a massive space station high in orbit above the planet Reach. Prior to the Covenant’s overwhelming invasion, Orbital Station Gamma provided long range communications for UNSC fleets and a vital lifeline between Reach and Earth. During the Battle of Reach, the station suffered terrible punishment at the hands of the Covenant but a few fortified sections remain intact, fully pressurized, and ready for combat. Condemned supports 6-12 players in a variety of action-packed game types, including Team Slayer, Team Objective and Free for All."
"Highlands takes place on the top-secret Military Wilderness Training Preserve on Reach. The Preserve is a large, wooded area where Spartan super-soldiers trained long before the war with the Covenant began.
"During the Battle of Reach, the Preserve was the site of key battles between the alien invaders and a group of Spartans who used their familiarity with these UNSC training grounds to significant tactical advantage… but not everyone who enters these woods makes it out alive. Highlands expands the fight with massive-scale engagements for 8-16 players in Big Team Battle, Team Slayer and Team Objective."
"Unearthed takes the battle for Reach to a large Titanium mine and refinery located in the Viery civilian sector of the planet. This particular mine was built to take advantage of the exposed titanium inside a massive meteor crater. The titanium produced here is used in much of the UNSC hardware, from the chassis of the Warthog to the meters-thick armor plating of capital ships like the UNSC Pillar of Autumn.
"While this facility was quickly abandoned when the Covenant arrived on Reach, it still has significant tactical (and economic) value and it won’t be long before both humans and Covenant return to battle for control. Unearthed allows up to 4 players to launch a counterassault against the Covenant in Firefight and Firefight modes such as Generator Defense."
So, are you ready to dive into Reach again or does another game's multiplayer have its hooks in you?